In the course of its membership within the ‘Meeting of Agricultural Chief Scientists of G20 States’ the Thünen Institute took part in this year’s meeting in Argentina. The Institute presented its international cooperation related to food waste prevention and visited two Food Banks.
Since 2012, the Thünen Institute , together with the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), is represented in the ‘Meeting of Agricultural Chief Scientists of G20 States’ (MACS-G20). The leading agricultural economists of the G20 States meet once a year to identify relevant global agricultural topics and discuss common activities.
In 2015, during the MACS-G20 meeting in Izmir (Turkey), the delegates decided to collaborate in order to avoid food losses and waste. With that, research and policy advisory work capacities within the G20 states are concentrated so that perceptible reduction of food losses and waste can be achieved. Germany accepted overall control and employed Dr. Felicitas Schneider for arising activities in 2017.
During this year’s Argentinian G20 presidency, MACS-G20 took place from May 28th to 30th in Jujuy, capital of a northern province of Argentina. Two thematic focuses of the common discussion laid on ‘Sustainable soil management’ and ‘Genome Editing’. Moreover, Stefan Lange and Felicitas Schneider from Thünen Institute updated their international colleagues about the continuation of their organised MACS activities to prevent food losses and waste since 2015:
Within the context of a field trip around the spectacular countryside of northern Argentina, the researchers from Thünen Institute gained insights of the agricultural challenges. Poor rainfall in heights up to 4,000 m above sea level, soil with small content of organic matter, limited access to supra-regional markets and high share of manual work and family-owned farms challenge the locals the most.
After MACS-G20 2018, our employees met activists of two so-called Food Banks in Santiago del Estero and San Miguel de Tucumán. These charitable organisations collect surplus and edible food items and distribute them to those in need instead of throwing them away. The work of those committed employees of the Food Banks and the improvement of the living conditions, of mostly young people, made a huge impression. This experience can now be exchanged with international cooperation partners.